Music start-up beams Cavern Club gigs into your home
A new player in music is aiming to offer customers something new by allowing venues to engage with existing and new customers.
BeatStream, founded by entrepreneurs Matt Walsh and Helen Fish, allows bars, clubs and venues to stream their live entertainment using an easy-to-use app.
It can help venues keep in touch with their customers, and find new ones.
“If you were a venue and asked me what BeatStream did for you, I’d tell you that it’s a customer engagement tool,” explains Walsh.
“If you’re an end user, it’s a free live music streaming service where you can only hear this music once – it’s never recorded and once you’ve heard it you may never hear it like that again.”
Walsh, the CEO of the business, is from a software background and has always had an interest in nightlife culture.
“We thought about three years ago that would be quite cool to listen to DJs in clubs and bars – not the large ones, the smaller scale ones - from the comfort of your own home and how you would facilitate that,” he said.
“We started to do a bit of investigation and BeatStream was born.”
Launched in July 2015, Walsh says the process has been a ‘rollercoaster’. They’ve secured a number of venues as customers, the most well-known being Liverpool’s Cavern Club.
Venues that sign up are given a tablet device with the BeatStream software installed which links straight out from their mixing desk.
They can programme in timed events and it will then automatically start broadcasting at that time, with users of the consumer app able to tune in.
While it’s running, the app learns about the user’s listening habits which can then be used by the venues for marketing campaigns.
Venues can also target users in their demographic who have not listened to them previously to allow them to increase their customer base.
Walsh says the tool is currently at 95 per cent of where the business wants it to be, with the next plans including launching an Android version as the app is currently only available on iOS.
The business is based at Entrepreneurial Spark in Manchester. The dedicated ‘Hatchery’ at the incubator site was established by NatWest in partnership with KPMG and is currently home to 80 businesses, many with a tech background.
Each intake gives the entrepreneurs a base for an initial six months and access to NatWest staff and mentoring sessions with KPMG.
Walsh says securing a place at Entrepreneurial Spark seemed like the next logical step to develop the company.
“With everything going on, it’s very easy to lose focus on the next steps for the business and where you’ve got to be,” he said.
“Entrepreneurial Spark has really helped us with that – we’ve achieved more in the first three weeks than we did in the past two months.”
With the steps in place for growth, the business is just about to embark on its first funding round and is looking to raise about £150,000.
“After this first funding round, we don’t ever envisage having to have another one,” Walsh says.
“The business will grow and become self-sufficient and be able to fund its own development.”
Once this is secured, they’ve got big plans for growth.
“We want a global presence within three years. We’ve got a three to five year view that we would like to be able to provide the public with 24 hour a day live music,” says Walsh.